Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Learned

Past tense of learn. In anthropology, describes anything acquired during the life cycle of an organism and placed in its memory and which cannot be passed on to descendants by a known genetic mechanism. Many physical traits have at least some component of variance that is due to such environmental modification. The memory of an organism’s immune system is so acquired. Many, if not all, appropriate behaviors, values, and knowledge of cultural norms are so acquired. Contrast innate, inborn, inheritance.

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